Midsummer's Madness — 2013

Posted on July 5th, 2013 at 3:56 PM

By Robert L. Moshman, Esq.

Don’t look now, but we are more than halfway through 2013, and there are inexplicable tax and budget proposals, a new direction for DOMA, bizarre celebrity litigations, and even a Sharknado sighting. Without further adieu, here is this year’s midyear madness collection.

Estate Tax Reform

There was a moment earlier this year when the estate and gift tax system reached a stable, permanent, sustainable foundation upon which good planning could finally be based. But that moment has passed.

After myriad tax reforms running from the Tax Reform Act of 1976 to ERTA’81, TEFRA ’82, TRA ’84, TRA ’86, etc., through the Bush tax cuts” of EGTRRA of 2001, and then a decade-long phaseout of the estate tax until 2010, followed by the alternative universe of 2010 (estate tax and carryover basis or no tax and stepped-up basis) and two dramatic 13th hour restorations, the finality of a permanent estate tax that arrived in January 2013 took on a surreal quality. For the first time in many years, we weren’t in transition. The unified estate and gift tax plus portability were established for the long haul.

It got very quiet on Capitol Hill. Tax legislators sat and watched the clock. So much certainty in the tax code, so little to rant about. Minutes passed without any change. The second hand moved around the dial—tick, tick, tick—without any pending tax reform...

For more, read the full PDF here.

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